As you may have read, we have a bunch of Texas bigots in our state who have taken up the torch of the original bigot who advocated secession – Governor Rick Perry. The first-to-speak-out secession bigot this time was Peter Morrison, treasurer of Hardin County (unfortunately, one of my border counties). Morrison is very upset that President Obama won the election last week and wants Texas to pursue an “amicable divorce” from the US. Daniel Miller, President of the Texas Nationalist Movement, strongly agrees with Morrison. More than 89,000 petitioners agree with both of them. So, you know what? In spite of being a proud residence of this great state, I think we should grant them their divorce.
I intended to ignore these crazies but the national news media has jumped all over it. As one might expect, Sean Hannity of Fox Faux was the first when he invited Miller on his show to help him “spread his message” of hate divorce. Afterwards CNN and others then started talking about it; therefore I decided it was time for me to weight in. So here goes.
The first thing that we – the US – will insist upon is a DMZ on the Northern, Eastern and Western borders of Texas, which will extend 10 miles inside Texas. I’ll explain why later.
Now, let’s start with what Texas is known for: Oil. Texas has quite a bit of on-land oil wells, so we have to give that to them. However, by comparison to offshore and Alaskan production, there’s not a whole lot by volume; just 1.5 million barrels per day ($42.5 billion per year at today’s prices). And Texas gets royalties from offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico. So to be fair, we give them the traditional 12 miles of territorial waters. However, as for oil reserves, that won’t do them much good. Most oil production has played out within that 12 miles; the real oil is now in deep-water which lies more than 50 miles off shore. So, sorry Texas; no more oil royalties for you from federal waters.
As for anything you produce or manufacture in Texas, we’ll have to negotiate a NAFTA style agreement. You know – those annoying things like fair trade, and import / export fees and taxes. And when you transport your goods across the border, you’re going to have to pay a users fee for our infrastructure. Sorry.
Next let’s talk about taxes. Texas residence pays about $225 billion in federal taxes each year. Of course Texas gets back in federal dollars about $.94 for each tax dollar paid to the federal government because they need it to maintain. Therefore, they will see only about a $13 billion increase in their income from federal taxes. So assuming that they will cut spending from that $.94 down to a drastic $.50, they will be spending about $120 billion per year on many of the things they spend those federal dollars on now. That will leave them about $120 billion each year. But wait! It gets worse.
You could go through the math just as I’ve done, but the bottom line is that once the 3.3 million Texans who voted for Obama and about 1.7 million seniors who depend on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security leave, Texas is going to realize less than $160 billion per year in total income from taxes. And with the profits from the sale of oil and gas on their land production, you can round that up to about $180 billion in total income. Deduct that $120 billion in spending referenced above, and you’re left with $60 billion. But we’re not through!
Now that we’re left with nothing but Republicans in the state of Texas, everything’s great, right? Not so fast. My bet is that of the 4.5 million that voted Republican, a very conservative number of 1 million to 1.5 million will leave; most likely more. So if those numbers are in the ball park, Texas’ left-over tax revenue will drop to at least $45 billion each year. But unfortunately we’re not done!
There is a lot of federal spending that isn’t in that $.94 per dollar referenced above, which Texas will have to fork out from their left-over $45 billion.
How about natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornados? No more FEMA money, Texas! You’re on your own. Airports? Railroads? Communications? Your nickel! Banking protection such as FDIC? Nope! Your power system which includes power plants and transmission lines? That’s gonna cost you. There’s plenty more. But let’s get to the really big one.
You better build yourself a very big and strong military. Because when Mexico invades Texas you’re going to need it. The US will not be coming to your rescue. And if it’s not Mexico, maybe another South American country. Worse yet, one from Europe, Asia or the Middle East, or maybe even Russia, that cuts a deal with Mexico for a land base right at your southern border.
So what is that going to cost you? You better be able to do it with what you’ll have left over from your tax base, which isn’t going to be a whole lot considering so many other expenses not mentioned here. You might be able to equip and support a small Army, but not much of anything else. So good luck with that.
Oh! About that 10 mile DMZ I spoke of earlier? That will be a buffer zone for the US military when we set up our defense line — to keep your foreign invaders off US soil.
But look on the bright side — you can expel all non-whites, and cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy to ZERO! Now that should really make you happy!
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky